Saturday, July 25, 2015


Very interesting thing I found today. A sealed evelope send from Japan to somebody in Indonesia, send August 1963, and when I opened the envelope, inside there were 3 flexi-discs, another sealed envelope with two letters and a stamp and a Christmas/Happy New Year card.....

All three flexi-discs are like new, beautifully preserved, one has beautiful exotica music, classic music mixed with traditional Japanese music by Tamae Koh and the New Chamber Orchestra on side A and a mdley of Japanese Folk songs in Latin Rhythms by Yasunori Nakajima and the Latin King on the B side, the other one some Japanese music on it, only playable on one side and the small one has Jingle Bells on it, that one I can't record, it's too small....

And this is what the letters said:

Shimonoseki, 17 - Sept

Dear Gwan Seng

Thank you very much for sending me
such a nice birthday gift. I will keep
it for ever.
In Japan now we have the Rainy-season
I like to see film.
I have watched the televidion about
of Indonesia.
My lessons are Mathematics, Language,
Health, Science,Geography, History,
Music, Drawing, Religion, English.
I go to school mission private school
for all girls.
We have about 1800 pupils in our school.
Do you have a friend who would like
to write to a 15 year old girls here in
Toshiko Yorino asked me to see if I
could get a pen-pal and I thought
maybe you could help me out. Just
tell your friend to send the letter.

Thank you very much.

(second letter):

Miss Toshiko Yurino
4127 Icho Hikoshima
Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi.

I have not started a stamp collection
but when I do yours will be my first
twenty stamps in my book.

Thanks a million for them.

Tell your family that I say hello,

Sayonara, my good friend.

Tsunemi Saito

Makes you wonder, doesn't it? Why was the letter never opened? Did it reach it's destination? What happened to Mr. Tan Gwan Seng, to whom the letter was adressed? By his name you can tell he was an Indonesian of Chinese descent, which makes me think about the horrible genocide that happened in 1965 in Indonesia where millions were murdered, where the Indonesian Chinese were targeted very heavily....

As it happens me and my wife are running a small guesthouse very close from the adress on the envelope. I will ask the Indonesian-Chinese shop keeper in front of us, who knows.....

I love mysteries like these :)

Anyway, here's the music from the flexi-discs, very, very beautiful....




  1. Very interesting, indeed, Henk. Thanx for sharing. BTW - Can you translate Japanese to English?

  2. welcome! ehrr, and no, those letters were in english :)

  3. Yes, I saw that they were in English... I just wondered because a friend needs a translation done.

  4. Mr Madman, you are simply a gem. Thanks.

  5. thanks markyn :) and sorry timmy, i pick up some bits of japanese at my aikido lessons but i dont think that'll be enough :)

  6. Mr Madrotter, my apologies for spelling your name wronly.
    I suggest you make a donation of these letters and souvenirs to the Japan-Indonesia Friendship and Goodwill Society or any such association thereof for their archival interests. It has profoundly sentimental and historical value in away. A sad story behind an undelivered letter.

  7. Well, what I'm thinking about doing is trying to see if I can find the person to whom that envelop was adressed to :)

  8. Wonderful story, thanks for sharing.

  9. Very cool find! Thanks for sharing!

  10. sjesjen!!!!! (zoz eg je dat toch iont chinois?

  11. welcome everybody :)

    enne... mijn japans is niet al te best vrees ik....